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View of Prague Castle just southwest of the Prague Hilton, where the conference was held. It overlooks the Vltava River, which runs through the city, including a historic downtown that was was largely untouched by the destruction of World War II, unlike many European cities. (Photo by Christopher Capot)[/caption]
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At the 24th International Nursing Research Congress in Prague,Deb Cleeter, Barbara Patterson, Tony Forrester, Ainslie Nibert and Bette Mariani presented the outcomes of the first cohort of the NFLA (Photo by Christopher Capot)[/caption]
Where's the best place to recruit nurse educators for a global leadership program? Prague. At least that turned out to be the best place to start the recruiting.
The theme of the 24th International Nursing Research Congress in Prague July 22 to 26 was "Bridge the Gap Between Research and Practice Through Collaboration." The congress was organized and run by Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), the Honor Society of Nursing.
The annual event also marked the unofficial start of recruiting participants for the 2014-15 Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy (NFLA), STTI's unique effort to train nurse faculty to become leaders in their industry. The NFLA is funded by the Elsevier Foundation as an ongoing partnership. (You can read more about it in my NFLA article for Elsevier Connect.)
Amidst the picturesque backdrop of Prague, while trying to avoid over-indulging in goulash and braised pork knuckle, I joined several NFLA faculty to promote the program to nursing school deans and nurse educators.
I tagged along with nearly 900 nurses to the Czech capitol for the five-day congress. The nurses hailed from more than 30 countries and came to network with colleagues, share best practices and hear about innovations in research and the practice of nursing globally.
"Talking to this audience of international nurses, many of whom are junior educators or even potential mentors for the NFLA, is a rare opportunity," said Deb Cleeter, MSN, EdD and the consultant who helps run the NFLA. "We're expanding the pool of applicants this year and hoping to make the program truly global."
I was most astounded at the congress to discover how many nurse educators, many of whom are in the latter stages of their careers and some already retired, travel regularly from the US to India, Haiti and other foreign lands to support nursing education programs. These globe-hopping educators reported on the many benefits of cultural and educational interaction between nurses of all countries (see the congress program).
For me, it confirmed how much a program like the NFLA is needed, so that more and more nurse educators are encouraged to take global leadership roles, just as those traveling nurses have.
The Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy
The NFLA's 2012-13 cohort is the second for which the Elsevier Foundation has provided a $300,000 grant. The pilot program began in 2009 with a $200,000 Foundation grant and was called NFMLA (Nurse-Faculty Mentored Leadership Development Program).
Since the start, it has been a rewarding partnership for STTI and the Elsevier Foundation, which together designed the academy to address one important aspect of the international crisis in nursing – the push to train more nurses has created a dire need for more and better prepared nurse faculty who remain in the profession. The Elsevier Foundation recently agreed to fund the program's next cohort for 2014-15.
The NFLA is a 22-month "mentored leadership experience." Each Scholar (a junior nurse faculty member at a nationally recognized nursing program) selects an expert Leadership Mentor, who participates in the Academy workshops and guides the Scholar through the NFLA's leadership development journey. The scholar, the mentor and the faculty expert form a triad, an important learning
We were joined at the congress by several other NFLA'rs, including faculty expert Tony Forrester, PhD, RN, ANEF, Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Rutgers College of Nursing; Barbara J. Patterson, RN, PhD, ANEF, Professor of Nursing and Director of the PhD Program at Widener University in Pennsylvania, another NFLA expert faculty member; and Bette Mariani, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Villanova University College of Nursing in Pennsylvania and an NFLA graduate. Elsevier's own Ainslie Nibert, PhD, RN, FAAN, VP for Review and Testing/HESI, who is also an NFLA faculty advisor to the academy.
The small NFLA group publicized the program to the congress attendees at an hour-long session that reviewed the outcomes thus far from the current cohort. The nurses in attendance asked a lot of questions about the program during and after the session.
With the congress over and the application period formally open, we will be working with NFLA and STTI to publicize the program far and wide. For more information on the application process and to download the application, visit the NFLA area of the STTI website.
[divider][caption id="attachment_12395" align="alignright" width="128"]Christopher Capot[/caption]
As Director of Corporate Relations, Christopher Capot (@Chris_Capot) heads up public relations for Elsevier's Health Sciences division. He has been a public relations and media relations professional at agencies and corporations for more than 10 years. Prior to that, he was an award-winning newspaper journalist, last working as a business reporter at the New Haven Register in Connecticut. He works in Elsevier's New York office.